Home > Uncategorized > Charles Nodier: Painful to the eyes and the heart of he who cherishes liberty

Charles Nodier: Painful to the eyes and the heart of he who cherishes liberty


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

Charles Nodier: Fruitless is the glory of battles


Charles Nodier
From Promenade from Dieppe to the Mountains of Scotland (1821)
Translated unknown

Farther on the austere rocks of Dunbarton terminate the prospect, and resemble a vast natural cupola of which the river is the avenue. By little and little they open, advance, and discover to the eye that basaltic mass so striking, and at the same time so strange, which incloses between two enormous side walls, divided by a percussion that can only be attributed to the most ancient revolutions of the globe, the most dismal castle with which feudality ever terrified the eyes of nations. Groups of red soldiers, who throw their looks down its desolate depth, from the top of the fortifications, render this spectacle still more painful to the eyes and the heart of a traveller who cherishes liberty…

It is worth observing that there is nothing more difficult to efface than blood. It is the testimony which always arises against the murderer; out of a hundred accusations of homicide, there is not a single one in which it does not serve as an indication. It even cries out in the presence of history and posterity…

Tender and affectionate sentiments not only form the happiness of the individual: they have an influence on the welfare of nations as well as on that of families…

There is a time of life when we no longer exert, on all that surrounds us, that power of sensibility which drags along, which domineers, which makes us fear, and, above all, makes us love; a time when, notwithstanding the soul, still energetic, still young, preserves in the sole possession of its recollections something delicious, which only manifests itself in the calm of solitude…

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